Leaving a legacy of a healthy and resilient Yampa Valley for future generations

Yampa Valley Sustainability Council opens endowment at the Yampa Valley Community Foundation

written by: Anne Mudgett, Communications and Development Director, YVSC

Yampa Valley Sustainability Council (YVSC) is celebrating the organization’s first 10 years and kicking off the next decade with the launch of an endowment fund with the Yampa Valley Community Foundation (YVCF).

YVCF created the $100,000 Nonprofit Endowment Matching Challenge as a way to aid nonprofits to secure their future and ability to serve the community. Nonprofits can join the challenge by opening a fund at YVCF with a $10,000 investment. YVCF will match this initial gift with $2,500

“Endowments are a great way for nonprofit organizations to show financial security and have a dedicated funding source,” explained Mark Andersen, Executive Director of YVCF.

For example, a nonprofit with a $100,000 endowment will receive approximately $4,500 annually in perpetuity. Nonprofit endowments held at YVCF benefit from being pooled and invested with a current 17 million dollars in YVCF assets.

YVSC was started in 2008 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to address the impact of the local building boom on our community’s natural resources.

“With climate change, the urgency to protect our environment and inspire our community to take action is even greater now than it was 10 years ago. The YVSC Board of Directors established the new endowment fund as a way to meet these increasing community needs,” said Sarah Jones, YVSC Executive Director.

“In addition to the 25% Nonprofit Endowment Matching Challenge for donations to YVSC’s endowment fund, a generous YVSC donor has offered to match donations to the endowment fund made before December 31 dollar for dollar up to $15,000 total,” added Jones.

One example of YVSC’s new efforts to respond to climate change and mobilize our community is the work the organization is doing in partnership with the City of Steamboat Springs to protect the Yampa River. Trees not only provide riparian wildlife habitat, but they also provide shade. This function is critical to maintain as we see river temperatures rising and the health of fish and other aquatic life being impacted. Through YVSC’s ReTree program, youth and adult volunteers plant trees in public open spaces, fence young cottonwoods to protect them from beaver damage, and steward seedling trees to ensure their survival. The new endowment fund will provide sustainable funding for the organization to meet pressing environmental needs like this.

Thanks to community support, YVSC has also been able to expand its other programs over the past decade, such as Waste Diversion, Energy, Green Building, Sustainable Schools and Talking Green, and the endowment fund will support these ongoing services. By helping families reduce food waste, lowering household utility bills, replanting forests and riparian areas, and educating children and adults about environmental issues, YVSC is changing our community’s cultural norms to reduce carbon emissions and preserve the land, water, wildlife, recreation and way of life in the Yampa Valley.

The impact of climate change can already be seen locally—shorter winters, reduced snowpack, earlier spring run-off, hotter, drier summers and more severe wildfires. YVSC’s new endowment fund is way for our community to come together to preserve what we all love about the Yampa Valley for future generations.

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The following nonprofit organizations have endowments held at YVCF that are eligible for the YVCF Nonprofit Endowment Matching Challenge.

Learn more about our nonprofit endowment challenge here: https://yvcf.org/non-profits/endowment-building-toolkit/